Changes Coming?

May 16, 2018

Surely we have all read, heard, and/or seen the latest theory about the missing Malaysian airline, so I won’t explain it. It involves suicide intent by the captain and even a side trip over his home place.

Can you begin to understand the calculations, theories, machinations, arguments, and hard work that went into figuring this out? I can’t.

Even harder to determine are the changes this will make in the industry. It seems logical to assume that nothing will remain the same.

Insurance policies and practices for airlines and airports will be studying this. Airline procedures, communications, and practices will be evaluated and adapted. Pilots will likewise be studying their roles in safety.

Many of us can remember the big difference between operations before and after 9/11. How many of you can remember flying during the controllers’ strike? How about the reaction to the Canary Island disaster? Or the time Congress mandated ELTs? Remember when the DC-9 crashed because of a storm in North Georgia and we all learned about radar attenuation? I bet this suicidal-captain theory will—if true — change aviation more than any of the above incidents.

In fact, the powers-that-be are already pushing for a rule requiring every inflight airline to announce its location every 15 minutes.

I will not live long enough to see the full results of this.